Kneel Day 15 Hear My Cry: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) The psalmist describes his life as a dry, desolate wilderness without water. Why is he experiencing this “wilderness”? (verse 1)

2) How does the psalmist respond to his desolation and where does he find solace and sustenance? (verses 2-8)

3) The psalmist concludes his writings on wilderness with confident rejoicing. How is this realistic in the face of dry desolation? (verse 11)

Psalm 63

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:

“The Lord of Armies says this: These people say: The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”

The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” Now, the Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways:

You have planted much
but harvested little.
You eat
but never have enough to be satisfied.
You drink
but never have enough to be happy.
You put on clothes
but never have enough to get warm.
The wage earner puts his wages
into a bag with a hole in it.”

The Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways. Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house; and I will be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but then it amounted to little. When you brought the harvest to your house, I ruined it. Why?” This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies. “Because my house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.

10 So on your account,

God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you.
I thirst for you;
my body faints for you
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
2 So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

3 My lips will glorify you
because your faithful love is better than life.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
at your name, I will lift up my hands.
5 You satisfy me as with rich food;
my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.

6 When I think of you as I lie on my bed,
I meditate on you during the night watches
7 because you are my helper;
I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
8 I follow close to you;
your right hand holds on to me.

9 But those who intend to destroy my life
will go into the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the power of the sword;
they will become a meal for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by him will boast,
for the mouths of liars will be shut.

skies have withheld the dew
and the land its crops.
11 I have summoned a drought
on the fields and the hills,
on the grain, new wine, fresh oil,
and whatever the ground yields,
on man and animal,
and on all that your hands produce.”

Original Intent

1) The psalmist describes his life as a dry, desolate wilderness without water. Why is he experiencing this “wilderness”? (verse 1)
Sometimes we find ourselves in a barren wilderness because of our own sin, the world’s brokenness caused by sin, or someone else’s sin against us. Sin always brings death (James 1:15) and its affects impact us physically, mentally, relationally, emotionally, and spiritually. For King David, the author of this psalm, his specific wilderness context is the result of another’s sin against him. His son, Absalom, was impatiently waiting to be king in his father’s stead. He gathered those faithful to him in Hebron to slay the king. David, hearing of the impending coup, fled Jerusalem and took his “mighty men” into the wilderness. David’s wilderness was now figurative of heart as well as literal in the Judean desert. It would be easy to feel alone, devastated, and abandoned like his heart had no sustenance as his own son sought his life. In Scripture, a wilderness is often the backdrop for intense experiences followed by divine provision. Exodus 16 describes the desperate need for food to survive the wilderness and the Lord’s gracious provision. In the wilderness, Elijah suffered depressing isolation, and was given the voice of the Lord. (1 Kings 19:11-13) Hagar and her son, Ishmael, were in danger of death by dehydration in the desert, but the Lord provided water and a lifelong legacy. (Genesis 21:8-21) Moses was convicted and called when he encountered the Great I AM on desolate wilderness hills. (Exodus 3) Their trek into the wilderness had only begun when God’s presence came to the fledgling nation of Israel with thunderous voice and trumpets on Mount Sinai and His law was given. (Exodus 19) It only seems fitting that it’s out of the wilderness God calls his prophet, John the Baptist, to “prepare the way of the Lord” for Salvation Himself was coming. (Isaiah 40:3-5)

2) How does the psalmist respond to his desolation and where does he find solace and sustenance? (
verses 2-8)
The author obviously knew his God intimately; the satisfaction of God’s presence meant more than anything else. Even the pressing problem of his own son’s death threat against him took second place to David’s decision to worship. (verses 2-8) Temporarily removed from office, David trekked across the wilderness of Judah to his exile east of the Jordan. Even though the king’s political circumstances are dire, his spirituality vitality soars, “God, you are my God (…)” (verse 1) How magnificent to hear David claiming God as his own! The words are simple and childlike, but they contain a world of meaning. “My God”, demonstrates an intimate, deeply personal relationship, proving to be an abiding treasure in the face of barrenness. “My God”, speaks of a sufficient resource in EVERY crisis. David sought the Lord with fervor that neither could nor would be squelched by anything. The whole of David’s entire being crying out for fellowship with the Eternal One. David’s longing for God was as intense as a traveler in a dry, waterless land. David stirs himself to reach out and take hold of God through his ACTIVE FAITH. David laid his desolation before the Lord as his own, intimate God, and then proceeded to pray with fervent faith of his decision to choose steadfast worship over worry. Note the decision language David uses in verses 2-8, “I gaze”, “My lips will glorify”, “I will bless You”, “I will lift up my hands”, “My mouth will praise You”, “I think of You”, “I meditate on You”, “I will rejoice”, I follow close(ly)”. David recognizes God’s authority and delights in relationship with Him. Even in life-threatening crisis, David intentionally chose to be refreshed by God through adoring worship. (Psalm 100:4-5) David’s soul cried out, and God was with him.

3) The psalmist concludes his writings on wilderness with confident rejoicing. How is this realistic in the face of dry desolation? (verse 11)
After making his situation plain before the Lord in prayer, David boldly declared the firm belief he had grown to trust, “My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life.” (verse 3) Verses 4-8 describe actions David intentionally chose because he unswervingly believed God and His magnificent love were better than everything. Verses 9-10 tell of certain death awaiting all who don’t trust in David’s God. With resounding conclusion, David reiterates for all to hear, or even just to preach to himself with determination, “But the king will rejoice in God…”. (verse 11) David’s situation was dire, trapped in caves, fearful, alone, confused, and likely lacking supplies in the desert. Yet, his words ring of vibrant love, flooding praise, and refreshing thankfulness not for his deplorable circumstance, but for God’s constant presence which brought David life and, something else, hope. Hope strong enough to cause his heart to firmly choose rejoicing. This is powerful! David’s perspective had been strengthened in his wilderness season; with renewed vigor he clung again to the realization that only a relationship with the Eternal God was worth everything. While food options were limited, God satisfied him more than rich feasting. (verse 5) His conclusion? To praise God joyfully! David’s scenery had changed from palace gardens to desert sand, and from safety to sought after, but King David chose to rejoice in the King of Kings and His unchanging, steadfast heart of love. God did not waste David’s wilderness, He refined him in it. While David sat in a cave, he certainly wasn’t as productive as he could have been in the palace. Yet, in the forced slowness of his wilderness, God gave David such insights into His good heart that David penned some of David’s most profoundly beautiful psalms of rejoicing!

Everyday Application

1) The psalmist describes his life as a dry, desolate wilderness without water. Why is he experiencing this “wilderness”? (verse 1)
Regardless of why we experience wilderness, Scripture’s examples prove we can be confident these seasons will bring restoration despite devastation. Wilderness wanderings are meant to bring us face to face with God. The Lord wastes nothing, not even a wilderness; He faithfully draw our thirsty, famished souls into communion with Him as He fills us up with Himself, His purpose, and His delight. Often, God intentionally leads us into the wilderness, as He did with Israel (Deuteronomy 8:2), but it doesn’t mean He stops paying attention or abandons us. God reveals Himself to us in the wilderness. He is the Bread of Heaven (John 6:35), the Holy One who doesn’t experience death (Acts 13:35), and the immoveable Rock in which we shelter (Psalm 18:2). Every need is fully satisfied in Him! (Isaiah 55:1) It’s easy to get frustrated when our lives hit pause or when we feel lost and lacking purpose. But God is still at work, even when we can’t see or sense Him. He is with us even in uncomfortable seasons. Think of your own wilderness seasons from the past. How might the Lord have been speaking with you? How did He provide in unexpected ways? God is speaking in the wilderness, it’s our decision to lean in and listen and be satisfied by Him or keep on grumbling and complaining. (Job 2:10) We can open our ears to hear His voice with fresh fervor brought on by our desperate need, “As a deer long for flowing streams, so I long for You, God.” (Psalm 42:1) Like David, we can praise God beyond our circumstances, trusting His love is still available in desolation and devastation. Let’s not focus on getting OUT of the wilderness, for we will probably miss all God has for us IN the wilderness!

2) How does the psalmist respond to his desolation and where does he find solace and sustenance? (verses 2-8)
How often do we hit similar wilderness seasons in life and choose to respond with praise? The more natural response is to question God’s character and good nature when the unexpected happens. How could a loving God allow this? Where was God when I needed Him? While God isn’t afraid of our questions, He is also worthy of our praise regardless of our circumstances. We need a deep, trusting relationship with God more than ever in wilderness seasons. What we truly believe about God is revealed in difficulty; how we have grown in our faith in the easy times is made known in suffering. David chose worship in wilderness because he had practiced worship when he wasn’t suffering. In his victories, he worshipped. (2 Samuel 6:13-16) In his ordinary, he worshipped. (Psalm 145:2) In his sadness, he worshipped. (Psalm 42:5) Because God was most important when his life was easy, David’s natural response in suffering was to pursue God first. Think of a time when it seemed your physical needs might not be met. Perhaps money was tight, you faced a job loss, sickness, or a rocky marriage. Look back with an understanding that God is always present and always good. If you can’t think of evidence for His goodness, ask Him and He will show you! If you didn’t sing praise to the Holy One for being present at the time, guess what?! It’s NEVER too late to praise Him for His providence in our wilderness wanderings! He is ALWAYS present in our storms. Run to Him. In every circumstance, God’s “faithful love is better than life.” (verse 3) Prayers of faith may quickly be turned into joyful praise because we know our Redeemer lives! (Job 19:25) “Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” (Psalm 105:3)

3) The psalmist concludes his writings on wilderness with confident rejoicing. How is this realistic in the face of dry desolation? (verse 11)
Is David’s joy available to us? YES! We may not be staring at cave walls, but sometimes our wilderness feels like it’s tightening around us. The gate to such rich discovery is humble, heartfelt rejoicing. As we choose fervent, authentic worship, relief floods our troubled mind. Peace spills into our soul as we dump our insides out, laying them bare before the King through prayer. When we “weep out” our anguish, acknowledging the devastation of our wilderness, we find the sweetest of all loves, Christ Himself and His abundant satisfaction. In feasting on shared communion with the Eternal One, we are refreshed and ready to return to real life. Bringing these messy broken pieces to the King is true worship. In his teaching on prayer, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (…) Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4, 6-7, emphasis mine) Our desire for peace and wholeness can be satisfied in Only One Source. Jesus described Himself as the Bread of Heaven because only when we surrender ourselves to Him will we eat and be filled, drink and never thirst. (Joel 2:26, John 4:14) He is present at every moment, rolling up His sleeves. (Isaiah 52:10-12) We can choose Him now and find eternal solace for our souls. But one day, there will be no more choice, for from one end of earth to the other, “every knee will bow (…) and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…”. (Philippians 2:10-11) Like David, choose rejoicing today, choose Christ, choose full life worship!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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